Somalia: Al-Shabaab bans music like the Taliban

23 August 2010

Somalia is starting to resemble Afghanistan under the Taliban, where hard-line Islamist militia bans music and movies and forbids the public from watching sports on tv, reported the Associated Press.

Events in the past years in the failed state of Somalia indicate that Islamist groups like Al-Shabaab are doing their utmost to copy the practices of their counterpart in Afghanistan and Pakistan — the Taliban.

Somalia has been without a functioning government since 1991, when clan-based factional fighting broke out in many parts of the country. Freemuse stringer Abdulkadir M. Wa’ays, who has covered issues of music and censorship in Somalia for years, has earlier reported how a vast majority of the Somali artists lost not only their family members, but also had their livelihoods shattered when their musical equipments were either looted or destroyed by warring militias.

In April 2010, 14 privately owned radio stations in Somalia’s capital were forced to turn off music , after the top commander for Hisbul Islam in Mogadishu, Ma’allin Hashi Mohamed Farah, had sent an ultimatum to the Mogadishu-based radio stations to stop airing all kinds of music or face unspecified Sharia-based penalties, reported Abdulkadir M. Wa’ays.

Events not much different from those that took place in Afghanistan under the Taliban before 2001 — and similar to what is currently happening in the Taliban controlled areas in parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Read more about how musicians has been affected by the developments in Somalia, Afghanistan and Pakistan in the articles below

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Associated Press (AP) – 22 August 2010:

‘Somalia rebels looking increasingly like Taliban’

Freemuse website – 7 April 2010:

‘Freemuse analysis: Music ban on radio stations was expected’

Freemuse website – 23 June 2009:

‘Understanding the Taliban’s campaign against music’

Freemuse website – 23 April 2008:

‘Dilemmas facing Somali music and musicians’


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